Out actress Ellen Page confronted GOP
presidential candidate Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas, over LGBT
rights on Friday at the Iowa State Fair.
“People in the LGBT community are
worried, just 'cause in the past, during segregation era or when
women were tying to get the right to vote, religious liberty was
often used to defend and justify that discrimination. … So, I was
wondering if you could speak to that?” Page, wearing a hat and
sunglasses, asked Cruz as he cooked pork chops over a grill.
Cruz denied the allegation, saying that
it was “leaders in the church who played a critical role” in
defeating Jim Crow laws.
“But a lot of religious people also
used the Bible to defend segregation,” Page responded.
“What about the question about LGBT
people being fired for being gay [or] trans?” Page asked.
“Well, what we're seeing right now,
we're seeing Bible-believing Christians being persecuted for living
according to their faith,” Cruz said.
“You're discriminating against LGBT
people,” the 28-year-old Page said. “Well, would you use that
argument in segregation?”
“Now, I'm happy to answer your
question, but not to have a back-and-forth debate,” said Cruz, who
previously has said that his campaign would be based on his
opposition to marriage equality and Obamacare.
Cruz later told ABC
News that he did not recognize Page, who is in Iowa working on a
project for VICE Media.
a rally held Friday night in Des Moines, Cruz lauded as “heroes”
a former Air Force sergeant who claims he was let go because of his
religious views against gays, a former Atlanta
fire chief who was fired after he self-published a book in which
he called gays “unclean” and an Iowa couple who refused to
service a gay couple.
Cruz said that their stories were
examples of “government persecution.”